MARYLAND

Montgomery firefighters may see nearly 20 percent raise

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ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) - Montgomery County firefighters would receive a nearly 20 percent raise over the next two years as part of a new agreement between their union and County Executive Ike Leggett.

The Washington Examiner reports the raise for firefighters would be the largest raise for unionized county workers if the County Council approves three new labor contracts.

The council is expected to vote next month as part of Leggett's $4.8 billion budget. County union workers would see a 13.5 percent raise. Police officers would see a 14.7 percent raise. Firefighters would get 19.5 percent.

Fire Chief Richard Bowers says the increase is warranted because employees had to endure a four-year wage freeze.

Most council members agree raises are deserved. But Councilman Phil Andrews says a smaller increase would be more sustainable.

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